This morning, I was reading a bit of Tozer, and he posed this thought: "The first and greatest commandment is to love God with every power of our entire being. Where love like that exists there can be no place for a second object. If we love God as much as we should, surely we cannot dream of a loved object beyond Him which He might help us to obtain."
The theologian makes a good point, and yet, are we not all guilty of this very thing?
Our most common prayer is frequently, "Give me." Not the holy things of God do we seek, but the comforts of the earth. Not more of Him, but more of this....whatever this happens to be. Yet seldom do we realize that the very things for which we pray, we already possess in fullest measure, just in our being able to ask for them.
We pray for healing, to the One who has already healed us. It's already ours. Our bodies may continue to struggle. Disease may take its course. But we pray to the Healer, begging for mercy, although our healing itself is already assured. There is coming a day when there will be no weakness, no sickness, no lameness. That much, we know. But we pray for healing anyway, as though it is a gift of God reserved only for the few.
We pray for security, to the One who holds us in the very palm of His hand. All around us, things fall apart. Seasons change. Doors open and close. And we pray, fervently, that we would just have something stable to hold onto. Yet the only unchanging One in all the universe already holds us. In His hand, there is no uncertainty. But we pray for surety, for security, anyway, as though it is rare and difficult to find.
We pray for second chances, to the One who comes running to meet us on the horizon. We pray for wealth, to the One who paves streets with God. We pray for opportunity, to the One who throws open the windows of Heaven for us.
We pray for all of these things, not realizing that we already have them in their fullest measures, in the very One to whom we pray.
And that is the wicked deception of the world. This world has convinced us of the emptiness of our lives, even in the presence of God, and therefore, has convinced us of the emptiness of our God. How often do we stop and consider the great fullness of His glory? How often do we remember that all that we could ask or imagine, God fully is and even more?
The discomforts of this world have somehow convinced us that God is, but chooses not to be. He is Healer, sure, but He does not heal us. He is security, yes, but He does not shield us. He is Father, yes, but He does not claim us. He is peace, yes, but He quarrels with us. He is wealth, absolutely, but He is not generous. He is the divine yes, of course, but His silence is deafening.
Listen, and hear, when I say that this is deception. This is the lie. It is not that God is and chooses not to be; the trouble is that God is, and we choose Him not.
God is, and we choose Him only as a means to be. We choose Him only as a stepping stone between here and there, between this and that. We choose Him as but one way of obtaining what we truly want - something beyond Him that seems out of our own reach.
Which brings us back to Tozer's musing and the question we must honestly ask ourselves: what second object could there possibly be beyond God that He might help us obtain, if only we knew what we fully had in Him?